Companion planting with strawberries is a wise move, especially when you don’t have a lot of space.
We currently live on a ten-acre piece of land, which gives us plenty of areas to plant strawberries. However, most plants benefit from being interplanted with other species.
Often they help each other out, either by weed control or by keeping away certain troublesome pests. This also helps the diversity of soil fungi, which in turn improves the health of the soil.
Strawberries are also a plant that does not do well with some plants.
Susceptible to a deadly disease called verticillium wilt fungus, certain plants sometimes carry this disease and might infect the soil and carry it over to your strawberry plants. While there are things you can do to treat it, prevention is the best cure.
For this reason, strawberries should not be planted in the same soil where these plants were previously grown.
Plants that should not be planted with strawberries include the nightshade family as well as the cabbage family. They can be planted in the same garden, providing there is enough space between them.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to not plant strawberries in the same spot where these grew.
Plants that should not be planted together with strawberries are tomatoes, potatoes, melons, mint, eggplant, as well as mint, and okra. That’s a pretty long list, and I wasn’t aware that they were so picky about their planting companions.
So what can be planted alongside (or even interplanted) strawberries?
Certain things to consider are that strawberries are not a plant that produces for many years. The most that a single planting of strawberries will produce is approximately six years.
That’s with good weed control and good soil health.
10 Companion Plants For Strawberries
Spinach is a plant that overwinters, even in our zone 2. It grows rather tall, and if you would keep your strawberry patch rather sparse (not let it get overgrown), spinach would work well as a companion plant.
While you can plant garlic in the spring, it grows best planted in the fall.
You would plant garlic right around the time you would be renovating your strawberry field, and before you put on mulch. Garlic needs a couple of weeks for the roots to get established before winter sets in.
The only problem I see with this is that you plant garlic bulbs underground. This would mean you would have to dig holes among your strawberry plants. Might work, but maybe not.
If you are just planting your strawberry plants this year, then lettuce interplanted would work well.
I would even encourage it because there is quite a bit of space between your 8-12 inch plant spacing. However, if your strawberry patch is well established, planting lettuce among all those runners would not work well at all.
Growing onions among strawberries? This is something worth trying.
Onions, like garlic, are planted by the bulb. Onions are not planted very deeply, so they would not need a whole lot of soil.
If you overwintered your strawberry plants well, planting onions into the strawberry patch would be a piece of cake.
I honestly cannot see this working unless you would set up a trellis, then it would be a great idea.
Beans would help produce the nitrogen needed for the strawberry plants to grow, but they might just use it up as well at the proper time (strawberries need less nitrogen in the middle of the season).
I have never planted borage before, but some people do use this herb for health benefits. What makes me attracted to this plant as a companion plant for strawberries is its ability to attract bees as well as other beneficial insects.
More bees mean better pollination, which equals better berries. This article calls borage a magic bullet for strawberries.
These are a short cool-season crop that does better being planted during the spring and fall. You could do two plantings, one in spring, and another in the middle of august, or later(depending on your zone) for maximum harvest.
Similar to onions, you would need to start these indoors, or in a greenhouse before transplanting them into your strawberry patch.
Peas are another companion plant for strawberries that would work well if you have a trellis. The roots themselves take up little space, and would also be a nitrogen fixer.
I also read that asparagus would be great interplanted with strawberries, but considering our cold climate, I doubt it would work well.
To get a bountiful crop of asparagus spears, it takes six years.
After that, the plants produce for a long time. Strawberries, on the other hand, are done producing after 4-6 years. So your asparagus plants would be well rooted and producing well the year you would need to remove your strawberry plants.
The only way I can see this working out well is if you were ok with not using that area of your land to plant strawberry plants anymore or in the near future.
Asparagus and strawberries both love a good mulch, and the weed control needed for strawberries would benefit them as well.
For warmer climates, it might be worth a try. I wouldn’t mind doing an experiment with that, and maybe I will one day.
To find what kind of soil strawberry plants need, click here.
It’s important to remember that an established row of strawberry plants forms a thick matted row.
Companion planting with strawberries might be difficult, but with a bit of trial and error, you’ll soon have figured out what works well, and what doesn’t.
There are quite a few species that don’t go well with strawberries, particularly anything in the nightshade and cabbage family.
It’s good to take note of what should not be planted with strawberries. A little bit of a heads-up can take care of a big headache later on.
Yet there are still a lot more plants that work with strawberry plants.
I was surprised to find such an excessive list, and am looking forward to trying onions, garlic, and spinach.
I learned a lot too while researching for this article, and am excited to get out into that strawberry garden. Planting onions and garlic into my strawberries should be a great experiment for this summer.
Companion planting for strawberries is not only possible, it’s easily feasible. You should be able to grow more food, in a smaller amount of space with companion planting.